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ERIC Number: EJ937258
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 0
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-9635
How Community Happens: Shared Endeavor, Scrambled Roles, and the Spirit of Celebration
Donovan, Jill
Independent School, v69 n2 Win 2010
The author has taught for 21 years, 15 of these in independent schools. When she considers what makes a school a community she thinks less about the daily schedule or the academic program or the quality of the facilities or the strength of the administrative team (though all of these are important), and more about specific moments of profound connection and spontaneous joy. She thinks about her seventh grade softball team in South Miami, which lost every single game, but were such good sports and such true friends that they sang on the bus all the way back to school. She thinks about the faculty retreats at Delray Beach and the things she learned from her veteran colleagues about how to work and collaborate as a team. She thinks about the scrappy young men who played basketball for a packed and cheering house on all those chilly Friday evenings in Lexington, Kentucky. She thinks of a memorable day a few years back when one of her colleagues in St. Louis sprinted along the bleachers in the north gym, leading the entire upper school student body in a spontaneous wave during a disaster drill gone wrong. And she thinks about that truly special 18 months when meetings became electric, during a self-study that took on a life of its own. When the author considers what transforms a school from a list of names and a collection of buildings into a genuine community, she remembers thousands of such moments: moments with kids, moments with colleagues, moments of growth and discovery and excitement: moments when work felt like play and school felt like home. In this article, the author discusses three distinct pillars from which these moments crowd around: (1) "shared endeavor"; (2) "scrambled roles"; and (3) a "spirit of celebration."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A